Daily Word

Kindness – Romans 2:4 | Genesis 42:18-24

18 Now Joseph said to them on the third day, “Do this and [you may] live, for I fear God: 19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in your [place here in] prison; but as for the rest of you, go, carry grain for the famine in your households, 20 but bring your youngest brother to me, so your words will be verified and you will not die.” And they did so. 21 And they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty regarding our brother [Joseph], because we saw the distress and anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us [to let him go], yet we would not listen [to his cry]; so this distress and anguish has come on us.”

22 Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Now the accounting for his blood is required [of us for we are guilty of his death].” 23 They did not know that Joseph understood [their conversation], because he spoke to them through an interpreter.  24 He turned away from his brothers and [left the room and] wept; then he returned and talked with them, and took Simeon from them and bound him in front of them [to be kept as a hostage in Egypt]. 

Genesis 42:18-24 (AMP)

Kindness – Romans 2:4

Joseph put them in jail for three days. This gave time for conviction to set in and God to work on their hearts. Joseph was not angry with them so this wasn’t revenge. “There is nothing more striking in the character of Joseph than the utter absence of revengeful feeling, whether it was against his brothers, or against Potiphar, or against the chief butler.” (planobibelchapel.org quoting Thomas)

Joseph does not want them to suffer and surely doesn’t want the rest of the family in Canaan to suffer. He shows them incredible kindness and mercy – as God does to us. This kindness indeed leads them to repentance as we are seeing and will see more.

Heart exposed

Joseph’s heart is exposed. First he tells the brothers that he fears God and, for this reason, he will show them kindness and mercy. Then we see that he weeps as he hears their conversation. Why? He sees that they are confessing their sin toward him. “The quickness with which they associated these events with their sin against Joseph meant they often remembered that sin.” (enduringword.com) This bodes well.

Why Simeon?

We don’t know for sure but I guess, as Dr. Constable does, that it was based on age. Reuben was first-born. This would have surprised the brothers that Joseph knew this. As they confessed, Joseph heard that Reuben had intended to rescue Joseph so Joseph selects Simeon, the next oldest. This would have given the brothers much to ponder about on the way home!


  • How has God’s kindness led you to repentance? Are you recognizing His kindness, which can lead us to repentance? “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and restraint and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)
  • Are we in a position of authority where someone has done wrong – even to us? Correction is necessary. Sometimes mercy accomplishes a better result – as in LesMiserables.

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